Qualification Updates

At Board of Directors meetings, we are always evaluating changes to our Hardrock qualification standards and lottery which we feel will foster a Hardrock Run that we all stand behind. These may affect decisions you make long before our December lottery and potentially affect decisions you make concerning your running season.

2019 Run Cancellation and Lottery/Qualification Impacts

  • How are qualifiers going to work moving forward?
    • The qualifying process remains generally unchanged.
    • 2020 Hardrock: No lottery. Open spots will be filled from the 2019 wait list.
    • 2021 Hardrock: Complete one of the qualifiers listed on our webpage in 2019 or 2020 OR have completed Hardrock in 2018 or 2020.
    • 2022 Hardrock: Complete one of the qualifiers listed on our webpage in 2020 or 2021 OR have completed Hardrock in 2020 or 2021.
    • Entrants and wait listers in the 2019 run who are rolled over to 2020 do not need to requalify.
  • How are lottery tickets going to work moving forward?
    • The ticket earning process remains unchanged. There will be no lottery for the 2020 Hardrock. Tickets will continue to accumulate in the normal way for each lottery “bucket”. In essence, we are skipping the entire 2019 season, so all lottery entrants will be affected equally, and no one will accumulate additional tickets during the 2019 season (with a possible exception for trail work, TBD).

Service Requirement

There is a Service Requirement for admission to the run, consisting of 8 hours service in either a) an aid station at an ultra, b) the management of an ultra, or c) work on a trail used by an ultra. The service must be completed by July 1st. Certification of the service is due by July 8, and the form describing the service must be signed by the RD of the ultra for which the service was performed. Runners on the wait list on July 1 must have their service form in if they are to be considered to take the place of subsequent withdrawals from the start list. The window for performing the service begins July 1 of the previous year (i.e. 7/1/20 for the 2021 run).

Lottery Changes

Each year, we are faced with the difficult problem of how to choose our starters from 1000 applicants, while still respecting the values that make Hardrock Hardrock. The Board feels that our ideal mix of runners would be about 30% first-time Hardrockers, one-quarter or so veterans (i.e. >= 5-time finishers), and up to 50% everyone else. To preserve this rough and fair mix, we have replaced our single weighted lottery with three weighted lottery pools, each with its own wait list:

  1. First-timers - 45 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone who has never started a Hardrock. The intention is to increase the likelihood for applicants with many DNS's to get into the run. Modeling suggests that giving applicants 2^N tickets, where N is the number of previous DNSs, will ensure that those with the most DNSs will get in, while still giving first-time applicants a chance. “DNS” includes both those who were on the wait list and those who withdrew from either the wait list or start list.
  2. Veterans - 33 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone who has five or more Hardrock finishes, with the following qualification: an applicant who DNFs in two consecutive attempts beginning in 2012 will be placed into the "Everyone else" pool until they complete the run in a subsequent year. Applicants will get one ticket for each previous Hardrock finish. The number in this pool is about the same as the number of 5-time finishers bypassing the lottery in each of the past few years, and so comes close to preserving this feature.
  3. Everyone else - 67 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone not in one of the previous two lotteries. The algorithm for ticket allocation will be unchanged from the current one. Modeling suggests that the chances of being selected from this lottery will be better than under the current system.

Runners not selected in the first two lotteries WILL NOT be rolled over into the third lottery. If fewer than 33 "veterans" apply, the unused slots will be added to the "everyone else" pool.

A separate wait list will be maintained for each lottery. When a runner withdraws from the start list, a runner will be taken from the wait list for the lottery from which the withdrawn runner was chosen.

The previous year's winners will continue to bypass the lottery, but they will count against the lottery pool they would have been in.

Qualifications for the Hardrock Hundred

The Hardrock Hundred is a "post-graduate" run. For safety reasons, not as an attempt at elitism, we cannot accept novice runners. The challenges faced during the HRH are much more than the exertion and fatigue expected from running 100 miles, and require the ability to navigate the course with uncertain conditions that may include:

  • High Elevation
  • Long, steep climbs
  • Extended distance and time between aid stations
  • Severe weather, including heat, cold, rain, hail, and lightning
  • Water and snow crossings
  • Exposure to potential for falls

Any runner attempting the HRH must understand that these challenges exist and they must be prepared to make decisions for his or her own safety under uncertain conditions without any expectation of assistance. While there is no guarantee that the runner is prepared for every eventuality, finishing a qualifying event gives some evidence of being prepared for the HRH. Finishing a qualifying event additionally improves the chances for a runner to finish the HRH.

The HRH has selected qualifying races to give the runner and the HRH management confidence that the runner is prepared to safely complete the HRH. The qualifying races each exhibit some of the challenges listed above. Some consideration is also taken for geographic location to help provide access to qualifiers worldwide. In addition, the HRH Board of Directors expects qualifiers to be environmentally responsible, have a positive impact on the health of the sport, and support the communities in which the races are held. Generally, events must be held a minimum of two times before being accepted as qualifiers.

The HRH Board of Directors reviews this list annually to add or remove qualifiers as appropriate. When a run is added, the previous two events will be included immediately. In most cases when a run is removed, it will be phased off the qualifying list over two years. This prevents having a finish be eligible as a qualifier one year and the same finish not qualifying the following year. However, the HRH BOD reserves the right to remove a run without the two-year process.

There have been instances where qualifying runs have been cancelled or shortened due to unforeseen circumstances. In these instances, and similar situations in the future, we do not consider that event in that year a qualifier. While this may regretfully prevent some runners from qualifying, the HRH feels the importance of the qualifying process for runner safety outweighs compromising this process for convenience.

If you are interested in your race becoming a Hardrock qualifier, please

Qualifying for 2020 and 2021

See embedded chart below for the qualifying runs for 2020 and 2021. Look at the column header for which year you'd like to apply to Hardrock, then use the rows listing qualifying runs to determine if your finish will be considered a qualifying run. This chart takes into account races that are being removed as qualifiers - please make careful note of races being phased out!


Application Availability & Runner Refunds

Application to Hardrock is available on Ultrasignup at the beginning of November and typically lasts for two weeks (exact dates to be posted on the home page each year). The lottery will be the first weekend in December. The 145 selected runners will be notified immediately thereafter. Your billing information is collected at the time of application, and if selected in the lottery your full entry fee will be billed using your payment information.

The full-refund period has been eliminated, and a 50% refund will be given if you withdraw from the entry list at any time. This means that if you are selected in the lottery, you will be on-the-hook for at least 50% of the entry fee.

A waiting list will be maintained after the field is full. If you are moved onto the starter's list from the wait list, you will be notified and you will be given the opportunity to decline entry at no cost before your credit card is charged.

Pregnancy Entry Deferral

Eligibility: Any woman who has been selected for the entrants list of the Hardrock Hundred and becomes pregnant prior to run day.

Procedure: Submit Pregnancy Deferral request in writing to the Race Director any time after the lottery is held and prior to the pre-run Thursday check-in deadline. Submit along with request written confirmation of the pregnancy signed by a medical professional.

After deferral, the entrant will be able to re-join the accepted entrants list on any one of the three years following the deferral. For example, a pregnancy deferral used for an entrant in 2021’s Hardrock will be granted entry in 2022, 2023, OR 2024. She must enter Hardrock during the normal application window for the Hardrock she chooses to run, and then notify the Board of Directors that she will use her deferred entry status prior to the date of the lottery.

At the time of deferral, the entrant will have her entry fee refunded in full; she will pay a new entry fee at the time of re-entering the run.

Normal runner application rules and requirements still apply for the year the re-entry is activated, including our service requirement and having a valid qualifier.